EXCESSIVE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

‘…A 1992 study, for instance, found that five factors related to intrusive thoughts, only personal accountability significantly predicted compulsions. According to Salkovski’s theory, a potentially upsetting thought causes no emotional reaction when it first comes into the mind. Indeed, if a person regards it as simply a piece of mental flotsam-as an idea of no importance – then the thought will just drift on by without a ripple. What happens with OCD sufferers is that they appraise the thought-a split second evaluation that is not in full awareness-and conclude, as Salkovskis puts it, “that they might be responsible for harm to themselves or others unless they take action to prevent it.” All of a sudden an alarm sounds: “I’d better pay attention to that thought!” Now the thought will not float by. It must be dealt with.” p59-p.60

Ian Osborn (1998) ‘Tormenting thoughts and secret rituals’

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